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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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distress and battle, Poland proudly faces the world to-day demanding justice
and respect for her rights and as much loyalty and honesty in the fulfilment
of obligations towards her as she showed and still shows when called upon
to carry out her duties for the common cause."
Except for those few who wrote to the effect that these Allied soldiers
should be saved from destruction and that something should be done to
rescue them., the English Press made no mention of the disbanding of
the Polish Home Army.
At the mast of Churchill's ship the signal—ci Victory and friendship
of Russia at all cost3'—had been hoisted, and, since the Soviet Army
storming the Reich from the East had no need for Poland, Churchill's
England acquiesced to this annihilation of the Army of its oldest Ally.
Eden, questioned in the Commons, replied casually,, " The Home Army
has been formally dissolved by the Polish Government in London."
In January., it became known that Stalin had agreed to a meeting of
the Big Three, the Polish Government, in anticipation of that event, had
drafted a Memorandum, and on I9th January, the Polish Prime Minister
declared once more in a broadcast to Poland that, if the principle of Polish
independence was established, every Polish-Soviet problem could be
solved easily and amicably. He said :
"As a Pole, as one of the leaders of that underground movement which
has not for one moment since the beginning of the war ceased in its life-and-
death struggle against the German invader, as a Socialist, and as the Prime
Minister of the Polish Government, I hold out my hand to the Soviet Union.
I hold it out to achieve a lasting agreement, a lasting and honest co-operation.
" From the bottom of my heart I believe that, in spite of all that has been
said and all that has been done, such an agreement can be reached. Geo-
graphy and history demand it. In this appeal, the sincerity of which I
hope may at last break through the suspicions which divide our nation
from Russia, may I be sincere to the end ? Is the country free while those
who organised and carried out the struggle—the legal Government of the
Republic, the Ministers inside Poland, the commanders of the Home Army,
the Council of National Unity—are not yet free to carry out their duties ?
A tragic misunderstanding underlies the fact that the best of the Poles, who
have not ceased since Germany first entered Poland to shed their blood in
relentless battle against the same enemy whom the Russians fight, are to-day
called * traitors,' are called to trial, condemned, and sentenced. Can it be
imagined that in this great moment of her triumph, Russia will brush aside
the facts of Polish resistance to the Germans and support a gang of little
men who deny their reality, who can offer but false names, false slogans,
and false promises in the place of facts which have already written history ?
" We hold out our hand to Russia, and we do not believe that it will be
rejected. The whole of our programme and all that we claim is the right
of our nation to true independence. Right means that no bayonet, however
crowned with glory, shall dictate who is to govern a country. Freedom
means not only liberation from the German yoke, it means personal freedom,
freedom of speech and thought, freedom of the Press, of association, of
religion. It means a Government not imposed by force, but based on demo-
cratic elections without any external pressure. If these principles are
recognised, and all that they imply fulfilled, then there exists no Russo-
Polish problem which cannot be easily and amicably solved."